“Becoming a police officer was my child hood dream. I never gave up on that dream until I am now retiring from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force,” says outgoing Assistant Commissioner, National Capital and Crime Prevention, Madam Gwen Ratu.
From Malaita and Guadalcanal origin, she was recruited into the RSIPF back in October 1984 at the age of 23. She was one of only three females in the class of 60.
“I have come through a lot and there are challenges that I have faced. That did not hold me back. I saw them as a way forward for me and made me determine to strive forward to become who I am,” says Ms Ratu.
She adds: “I started off as a probationer at the Honiara Central Police Station and then moved on to various departments in the RSIPF including the Traffic, Investigations, Communications and Administration. The longest area which I served is the Police Training School, now known as the Police Academy. I was there for 13 years.”
“One of the highlights of my career was in 1990 when I was seconded for six weeks to Australia with the Victorian Police Crime Prevention Bureau. One of the memorable moments was when I was part of the traffic operation during the visit of the Duchess of York,” says Ms Ratu.
During her time in the RSIPF, she headed numerous major operations including Operation Black Tuesday during the April riots in Honiara in 2006, the 2007 earthquake and tsunami in Western Province, Operation Blue Boats in 2017 and Operation Parliament in 2017 for the Vote of No Confidence in the Prime Minister and the election of a new Prime Minister. She was also the parade commander during the farewell parade for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge from Solomon Islands after their visit in 2012.
So how does Ms Ratu feel leaving the RSIPF?
“For me I have fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a police woman, having served the RSIPF and the people of Solomon Islands for 33 years and 8 months. I am satisfied with my achievements. I have dedicated so much of my time to serving the RSIPF and the people of this nation. I am humbled to have been a servant of the people of Solomon Islands.”
She adds: “My parting words to my colleague RSIPF officers is to work together, dedicate yourself not only to the Force but serve your country. RSIPF and the country need men and women like you. With the authority of your sky-blue uniform, you can do much for this country to make sure our communities are safe.”
“To all the Police women in the RSIPF, a pathway has been paved and set. Be reminded of your values within the organisation and if I can do it you too can also be able to reach those positions. Discipline is the key to becoming a successful Police officer,” says Ms Ratu.
“RSIPF ranks and files, I salute you all.”
Ms Gwen Ratu is one of the founding members of the Family Support Centre, where she is a strong advocator of gender based violence. She is a regular volunteer and a friend at the Christian Care Centre. She is also a strong leader in her community.
Her last day in the RSIPF was 15 June 2018.
– Police Media